the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

A work in progress.

on March 18, 2013

This Sunday in church the pastor called out for the people who needed healing to come forward and be prayed over. She called for people who needed physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing. My wife leaned over, “Go.” I shook my head. I couldn’t. I don’t even think I wanted to. Instead I bowed my head and I prayed, as I always do, to feel something. I prayed to God that I could, for just a moment, trust this. I can’t explain that. I watched them pray over each other, beautiful and awesome. Memories of my “churchy” childhood flooding into my chest and mind until I couldn’t look at them. How do you ask for healing when you don’t know what’s broken?

I am happy, I am blessed, I have a magical life of family and love. I have a relationship with God. Still, there is something I can’t reach, I can’t find the words to name, I can’t look at. When I am in that room each week all I know is that my heart is broken in a way I can’t ignore. I am missing a part of me I had. A part I had long let go of any hope of recovery.

When I was young I spoke to God as if he sat next to me, I prayed in the language of a child’s heart and I trusted without hesitation. The Holy Spirit thrived in me, worked through me. I was alive.

Then I messed up. I never thought I would, you know? I thought I would be “good” as good as a girl could be, after all we are all wicked sinners. I, however, had listened to everything they said, all the lessons, and all the teachings. So when I got to be older, where life isn’t so simple, I was shocked that I messed up. I can’t remember the first time I realized I was a sinner, all I remember is the feeling of shock and then the heart breaking thought that while I was shocked God was not. He knew the whole time I wasn’t good enough. Slowly the great comfort of having a constant companion turned into the most uncomfortable fear. I was always being watched, judged, and perpetually failing. I was not good enough and what was worse is I couldn’t get back to good ever again. My feverish prayers begging for forgiveness left me empty and more scared than before I started. Nothing made sense after that. It was a whole lot of trying religions on, only to take a few bits and leave most behind, building my own belief. I have always prayed, though the prayers had the underlying connotation, “I know you aren’t talking to me right now, but I still need to say this.”

About a year or maybe a little longer I was in my front yard and I had this incredibly vibrant memory, not much just a face and a few things I remember hearing the man say while I was sitting with the adults in “grown-up church.” His is one of the voices I hear when I feel like I shouldn’t try because I will never be right with God again, when I think, “Why should God help me, I’ve done nothing but let him down.” The devil used the voices of people I trusted, was told to trust, thought God was speaking through. He used them to damage me, and it worked. I lost the ability to trust anyone in the Preacher/Pastor/Father role. I lost the Holy Spirit. I mean, I have felt the presence now and again, but never the movement. Almost as if I was scared to reach out, because feeling abandoned is bad enough, but if I reached out 100% and got nothing then I would know I was truly alone. If that makes any sense. (If not, that’s not all that surprising as I am JUST now working through this all and it has been with me for a lifetime.)

Spiritual warfare? I don’t know. I know I feel like if it all depends on making my heart right. I know I think sometimes that these physical pains are trees falling to block the path. I am often mystified by the fact that there is a direct correlation, sometimes, by my feeling as if I am on the brink of understanding, of true communion with the Holy Spirit, that the pain is the greatest.

So, how do you ask for healing when you don’t know what’s broken? Well, I prayed to God for something, some feeling or some word that this was it, this was the church I have prayed for for years and that this was the Pastor I could allow to teach me without the fear of that trust being abused. I waited until everyone was finished and the service had moved to communion. I walked up to the pastor and I asked if she’d pray with me, when she agreed I asked if I had to talk – at this point the trust to pray next to someone is a lot – and this is the most sense anything has made right here as I blog this – so talking was out. To my great relief she smiled and took my hands, I cried in a way that I have not cried in front of anyone sans my wife in many, many years. Her words were strong, but I remember few from the start of her prayer. The words don’t matter as much as the movement in my spirit, the great quaking of a child now grown who was finally reunited with something stolen. In that moment the Holy Spirit poured into me, moved through me in a way I have not let happen in over twenty years.

Am I “healed” in the sense that nothing hurts and I have full trust in all humanity? No, but something is very different. There is a raw spot in my heart, maybe like the way a callus being removed leaves bright tender skin exposed. It’s no longer hard and tough, but now the skin is so new that the nerves are almost in agony with sensation. I feel like there is work to do in me, but I don’t mind working – in fact I sort of look forward to the self discovery and learning. I used to think it was work I had to do INSIDE before I could do anything for God, though now I think that He can use even us works in progress.

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